Sweet & Sour (2021)
Hyuk is hospitalized with a liver issue that caused severe jaundice. While the other patients as well as his own parents keep their distance, one of the nurses Da-eun (Chae Soo-bin) takes an interest in him. The obese and shy Hyuk confides in her that he has signed a contract to start working for an engineering firm. As his recovery progresses Hyuk and Da-eun grow closer, with the overworked Da-eun eating and resting with Hyuk in his hospital bed at times.
A few days before Hyuk is to be discharged from the hospital Da-eun appears to distance herself from him, and she is not working on the day he leaves. The downcast Hyuk returns home, but being unable to forget his nurse he finds out her phone number and gives her a call. She spontaneously invites him to come over to her home, and while nothing romantic happens between the two he stays the night. In the morning Da-eun wakes up to find that Hyuk has replaced the broken lamp in her hallway, as well as having prepared breakfast for the two of them. Touched by the gestures they share a brief kiss and they slowly start dating each other.
After a while Da-eun tells him that she won tickets to Jeju island for the Christmas period, and she invites him to join her. As he pulls up late at the airport in a taxi, he apologizes for being late – as he states his father does not want him to borrow the car all the time. Da-eun gives him a pair of sneakers that matches her own, which he happily accepts, stating that for sure he will lose weight now.
In the next scene we see a slim Hyuk (Jang Ki-yong) running in the park wearing the same sneakers. A hard working engineer he is soon told by his superior that he will be dispatched to a big company in Seoul. It means a long commute from Incheon to Seoul, but if he does well he might receive a permanent position at this firm. However, on his first day he finds out there is another candidate dispatched, meaning he will not be guaranteed to receive a permanent position at the end of his contract. The other candidate, Bo-yeong (Krystal Jung), turns out to be very competitive, regularly undermining him to make herself look better towards their superior.
At a board meeting where the team presents a new bridge design based on a proposal by Bo-yeong, Hyuk points out that there is a critical flaw in the design that would lead to a collapse if the bridge is ever hit by a tsunami. A humiliated Bo-yeong is told to fix the problem together with Hyuk. While Hyuk leaves early she works throughout the night without taking a rest. While Hyuk initially takes pleasure in seeing her suffer, he eventually takes pity on her and they end up working together to fix the problem. The two start bonding and they continue working on projects together, with the building’s janitor seeming to be intent in setting the two of them up together.
Meanwhile some strain is showing on the relationship of Hyuk and Da-eun, with both of them regularly working late and Hyuk appearing increasingly frustrated in having to commute between Incheon and Seoul. He usually comes home tired and shows little interest in Da-eun. One night when he comes home Da-eun complains about him not having fixed the broken light bulb and his refusal to take out the trash. When they start arguing she tells him that she hasn’t had her period, and it turns out that she is expecting his child, which she aborts later on.
Rather than being pleased it seems to frustrate Hyuk even more, as he by now realizes he has feelings for Bo-yeong. He starts to distance himself from the latter, focussing on Da-eun, but eventually this starts to impact his work. One night Bo-yeong confronts him and tells him that at this rate both their performance will suffer. Hyuk agrees to work late and he starts doing overtime again, leaving Da-eun alone at home.
One evening Da-eun and Hyuk go out together, to a stall where the then overweight Hyuk had earlier stated not wanting to eat macarons, declaring his intent to lose weight. This time Hyuk shows no interest in spending time at the various stalls, and continuously complains about the number of people there and wanting to eat and go home. Back in the car Da-eun complains that Hyuk never wants to spend time with her anymore. Hyuk brushes it off and accidentally calls her his “pretty Bo-yeong”. They get into a big argument, in which he denies cheating on her and eventually drops her off at home in anger.
Back in Seoul Bo-yeong and Hyuk are once again working overtime, when she suddenly sits down on his lap and he kisses her. Both of them get romantically involved and carry on until the end of the contract. After a while Hyuk becomes restless and appears to be longing for Da-eun again. When neither Bo-yeong or himself is offered a permanent position by the firm, Hyuk tells Bo-yeon at the firm’s team dinner that he will return to his previous position in Incheon. She in turn states that she will study abroad, as her old job is also not a permanent contract. In the background the team manager announces that they can win a free Christmas trip to Jeju.
Hyuk, hearing this, thinks of the Jeju trip he was supposed to go on with Da-eun this Christmas, and for which he had been receiving reminder messages on his phone in the past week. As it happens their flight was meant to be that very evening. Realizing he still loves Da-eun, he jumps up, retrieves a ring from his desk, which she had returned to him by parcel and rushes to the airport in a taxi. As he pulls up at the airport, he sees Da-eun standing on the sidewalk in front of the airport building and he tells the taxi driver to pull over. Jumping out he sees her waving at him, but as he runs towards her with the ring he bumps into someone and falls over.
The man he ran into turns out to be the Hyuk shown in the first part of the film. The scene is the same one from earlier, when Da-eun gave the matching pair of sneakers. It is revealed that the Hyuk from the start of the film is a different Hyuk than the one from the main part of the film. Both storylines happened simultaneously, and as it turns out Da-eun bonded with Hyuk while she felt neglected by her partner Jang-Hyuk, and because he did all the things Jang-Hyuk didn’t do; such as fixing the light bulb. Both of them leave on the trip for Jeju while Jang-Hyuk returns to the party and proposes to Bo-yeong instead with the same ring. She refuses on account of not being ready yet, but reveals to him that she just won the Christmas trip to Jeju and they can go together.
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